Mueller Has 'Problematic' Original Draft of Comey Firing Letter

Sunday, 03 Sep, 2017

A dozen administration officials told the newspaper that White House counsel Don McGahn blocked that letter, which was written with an assist from hardline policy adviser Stephen Miller, from being sent out because he was concerned that some of its arguments were problematic.

In Trump's draft letter, the existence of which was first reported Friday by The New York Times, the president didn't focus on the FBI's Russian Federation investigation as a reason for Comey's dismissal, the officials said. And when it comes to examining whether Trump sought to obstruct the FBI's Russian Federation investigation, the president's pattern of behavior and past statements about the probe will likely come back to haunt him.

Further, Ryan Goodman, a former special counsel at the defense department, said in a tweet that a "big implication" of the draft letter's existence was that Miller, the aide who helped Trump draft the letter, is "perhaps implicated in conspiracy to obstruct justice".

"While I greatly appreciate you informing me, on three separate occasions, that I am not under investigation, I nevertheless concur with the judgment of the Department of Justice that you are not able to effectively lead the Bureau", Trump wrote in the letter. Mr. Comey later said in testimony to Congress that the president was not under investigation. If Schiller does leave, only two former Trump Organization employees will remain in the White House, Communications Director Hope Hick and Social Media Director Dan Scavino, CNN reports.

USA Anthony Weiner und Huma Abedin Pressekonferenz in New York
Mueller Has 'Problematic' Original Draft of Comey Firing Letter

Trump told NBC News in May that he was frustrated by the ongoing investigation and believes it was motivated by Democrats' fury at losing the election. The letter was never sent after White House Counsel Donald McGahn raised objections to some of its contents, according to the article.

McGahn had reportedly managed to successfully block the president from sending the letter to Comey.

On Aug. 31, officials familiar with the federal probe disclosed that Trump's legal team had prepared memos offering reasons to Mueller why the Comey firing did not constitute obstruction, CNN reports. Asked who was behind the decision, Spicer said, "No one from the White House", according to The Washington Post. These officials said that Comey began to work on a statement exonerating Clinton as early as April 2016, before Clinton herself and some key aides were interviewed.

What makes matters worse for Trump is that during the campaign, he claimed that he "knows nothing about Russia" and had "no loans" and "no deals" there.